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3 Players the Saints Need to Avoid With Their First-Round Pick

Devon Platana
3 Players the Saints Need to Avoid With Their First-Round Pick
3 Players the Saints Need to Avoid With Their First-Round Pick / Chris Graythen/Getty Images

As the 2021 NFL season is set to begin in less than six months, the New Orleans Saints are preparing for their first season in a long time without Drew Brees. The Saints tried to win it all for Brees in 2020. Unfortunately, they came up short as they lost to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the NFC Divisional Round.

The Saints will have a chance to prepare for the post-Brees era through the 2021 NFL Draft. New Orleans has the No. 28 pick in the draft that it can use to address its biggest needs.

Here are three players that the Saints should avoid picking at No. 28 overall.

3. Najee Harris, RB, Alabama

Najee Harris
Najee Harris against Mississippi State. / Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

Najee Harris had an excellent season at Alabama in 2020. He recorded 1,891 total yards and 30 touchdowns. Projected as a late-first, early-second-round pick, Harris could be the best player available at No. 28. However, if the Saints are going to address their offense in the first round, they'd be better off targeting another position. Spending a first-round pick on a running back while Alvin Kamara is still on the roster just wouldn't make any sense, even if Harris would be an excellent complement to Kamara. A first-round RB is a luxury New Orleans just can't afford right now.

2. Jalen Mayfield, OT, Michigan

Jalen Mayfield
Jalen Mayfield playing for Michigan. / Duane Burleson/Getty Images

Jalen Mayfield is one of the many offensive line prospects that could be drafted in the first round. While having a 6-foot-5 frame and only being 20 years old on draft day may be exciting to some scouts, the Saints don't need to improve their offensive line much. It might be tempting to want to find a long-term replacement for Terron Armstead, who will be 30 when next season kicks off, but this is too valuable of a pick to spend on a player that likely wouldn't contribute much in 2021.

1. Rashod Bateman, WR, Minnesota

Rashod Bateman
Rashod Bateman against Maryland. / Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

With Emmanuel Sanders leaving the Saints to join the Buffalo Bills, New Orleans will probably end up drafting a wide receiver at some point. However, the Saints shouldn't use a first-round pick on Rashod Bateman. He's kind of a jack of all trades, but a master of none. His lack of a truly elite, top-level skill could hurt him at the next level. Besides, the Saints have more pressing needs than receiver. Unless they're truly enamored with a pass-catcher, New Orleans would be better served by addressing CB in Round 1, especially since there will be plenty of comparable receivers available at the end of the second round.

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